An overview of enzymatic reagents for the removal of affinity tags

Protein Expr Purif. 2011 Dec;80(2):283-93. doi: 10.1016/j.pep.2011.08.005. Epub 2011 Aug 19.


Although they are often exploited to facilitate the expression and purification of recombinant proteins, every affinity tag, whether large or small, has the potential to interfere with the structure and function of its fusion partner. For this reason, reliable methods for removing affinity tags are needed. Only enzymes have the requisite specificity to be generally useful reagents for this purpose. In this review, the advantages and disadvantages of some commonly used endo- and exoproteases are discussed in light of the latest information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affinity Labels / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Cell Line
  • Endopeptidases / chemistry*
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Exopeptidases / chemistry*
  • Genetic Vectors / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Rhinovirus / enzymology
  • Solubility
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Temperature


  • Affinity Labels
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Endopeptidases
  • Exopeptidases